Colombian Navy warship, ARC 7 de Agosto, recently completed sea trials with the Spanish Navy prior to her collaboration with the anti-piracy Operation Atalanta off the coast of Somalia.
Conducted at the Spanish Navy Combat at Sea Centre in south western Spain, the sea training ensured that ARC 7 de Agosto was ready to deploy to the EU counter-piracy operation, the European Union Naval Force (EU Navfor) said this week.
A Spanish Navy liaison team is embarked in the Colombian warship to provide any necessary support or advice. The ARC 7 de Agosto, with a crew of 65 personnel, will join Operation Atalanta on 9 August 2015 and is commanded by Captain Darwin Alberto Alonso Torres.
7 de Agosto sailed from Cartagena on 27 June and will deploy for five-months to protect World Food Programme shipments off Somalia’s coast, according to IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.
ARC 7 de Agusto is the second of Colombia’s three 1 723 ton OPV-80 designs built in Colombia by COTECMAR in Cartagena. The vessels has a crew of 85 and is armed with a 40 mm Oto Melara 40L70 twin gun, a 20 mm Oerlikon GAM-BO1 gun, and two Thor T-12 Remote Controlled Weapons Stations (RCWS). The T-12 RCWS includes a .50-calibre M2HB machine gun linked to a Controp SHAPO maritime day/night observation system.
For interdiction the vessels is equipped with two boats and a medium sized Bell helicopter.